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Sep
10

Is AMTC a Scam?

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AMTC, Broadway Song

After my friend and I took our daughters to the AMTC auditions, we wondered, “Is AMTC a Scam?”

My friend and I suspected that everyone at the auditions got callbacks, since both of our daughters and another girl we knew got callbacks.

Also, we were surprised at the high prices to attend the convention.  So we were skeptical and began investigating to determine if AMTC could be a scam.  (See more on this topic in “Should Your Child Attend Talent Contests?” and “What is AMTC?“)

What is a scam, really?

The definition of scam, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, is:  a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation.

It is hard to decide exactly when something is or is not a scam.  If you are misled and promised certain things that are not provided, then it is a scam.   Also,  if you are charged much more for something than what it is really worth, it is a scam.  But how do you define how much something is worth?  That is a difficult thing to do.

Do Industry Professionals Actually Attend AMTC?

My friend actually called up some of the talent agents, talent managers, and casting directors on the list of AMTC attendees and asked them if they regularly attended AMTC.  They all confirmed that they did indeed attend. She asked them other questions and was satisfied with their answers.

Does Everyone Get a Callback?

Still, we wondered if every person who auditioned got  a callback.  I asked the talent scouts and was told that not everyone was selected to attend the convention.  I was never absolutely able to verify this, but at least one person told me they knew someone who was not called back.

I was also told of one person who was not “selected” to attend but asked if they could attend anyway. They were allowed to attend. Was it wrong for AMTC to allow them to attend if they really wanted to attend?

Our Decision About AMTC

After much soul-searching and many discussions with friends and family, my husband and I did sign our 5-year-old daughter up to participate in AMTC. My friend planned for her daughter to attend but changed her mind since she thought her daughter was not ready for an event like this.

There were two sets of classes (one for adults and one for kids and teens) being held at Millie Lewis of Charleston to prepare the participants for the competitions. My daughter and I attended the weekly classes from October to January to help prepare her (and me) for the convention being held in January of 2003 in Charleston, SC (AMTC is usually held in Orlando, Florida.)

We worked hard on preparing her for the competitions, practicing frequently at home. We watched videos from previous contests. We got costumes and other clothing ready and planned hairstyles. I also read all the materials I could find and asked questions to help ensure that we’d be prepared. (See “How Do You Prepare for Talent Contests Such as AMTC?” for more on how to prepare if you do decide to attend.)

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays passed, and the next thing I knew, it was time for the convention.

Staying in the Convention Hotel

We planned to drive over for the various events since we lived only 30 minutes to an hour away. But as the time grew closer, we decided to stay in the convention hotel. We shared with another girl and her mother, so the price was not bad.

We both enjoyed the various events going on in the hotel. I don’t think we would have had the same experience if we had not stayed on site at the hotel–my daughter enjoyed swimming with the other contestants, eating with the other contestants, and hanging out with them in the evenings. It was very convenient to be able to go back to our room to change clothes, freshen up, rest, or just to escape for a few minutes.

The truth is, my daughter had the time of her life at AMTC, and absolutely loved every minute of it. I found the seminars taught by the industry professionals to be quite informative.

And for our family, this was a life-changing event. My daughter did well, and the end result was that we ended up here in L.A. (And soon a detailed account of our experiences will be available for your reading pleasure.)

But I know of others who were very disappointed and felt cheated and unhappy when the convention was over.

So what is the answer to the question “Is AMTC a SCAM?

AMTC is not a scam in terms of making false promises.

What does AMTC promise?

What AMTC promises is that you will compete in front of numerous industry judges from around the world — talent agents, talent managers,  casting directors, and other entertainment industry professionals. And on that part they do deliver.

If you compete and do well, the results from the convention can be life-changing.  These things are all absolutely true.

AMTC Does Not Promise:

  1. To make you a star if you attend.
  2. That you will get a talent agent if you attend.
  3. That you will get a talent manager if you attend.
  4. That you will get a job if you attend.
  5. That you will be “discovered” if you attend.

And it is important for you to seriously consider the fact that none of the above things are promised to you if you attend.

While the things above can actually happen as a result of AMTC, the chances of them happening are somewhat slim. And it is important that you understand that.

Should the industry judges be paid for participating in AMTC or other conventions?

Many people are critical of the fact that the industry judges are paid and at least part of their expenses are covered by the convention.

It would be nice to think that the industry professionals just go to AMTC or other events at their own expense to find new talent. But for the most part, they don’t.

The way I view it, though, is that all these people are trying to make a living in the entertainment industry. I don’t have a problem with them receiving some compensation for the time that they spend “working” at the convention.

Besides working as judges for the competitions, they also present informative seminars to the contestants and their parents and provide useful feedback to those trying to break into show business.

Many of these same people teach classes or workshops or give seminars in L.A., New York, or wherever it is they live, and often get money for those as well.  While they might occasionally do a seminar or class for free, that is pretty rare. And some of them travel around presenting workshops and seminars, and people pay to attend most of those as well.

Let’s face it, people do most of what they do in life in order to get paid.  Sure, there are charities that people work for out of the goodness of their hearts, and that is admirable.  But people who work in the entertainment industry as a career have to make money at it just as people who work in any other industry do.

Are they honest in their selection process?

Another thing that many people question about AMTC and other similar talent contests is whether the people who run the events and solicit for the events are honest in their selection process.  Do they select people to participate who have absolutely no chance of ever being noticed or selected for anything in the entertainment industry? It is suggested that they encourage people to pay a lot of money to attend when they know in their hearts that those people have almost no chance of being noticed during the convention. And that is really the questionable part of it.

Is it okay that the founders make money from running AMTC?

The people running the events make money from the events, but I personally don’t see that as being a scam. They really do deliver what they promise with AMTC.  It is a very well-run, family-friendly and safe event.

And you know how much it will cost up front as that information is furnished to you. Holding the AMTC events is what they do for a living and they work hard at it.

And there are people who would not ordinarily be able to afford to go  to AMTC who get scholarships, sponsorships, or financial aid to attend AMTC .

There are many things about AMTC that are right.  You can check out the AMTC website and get a good handle on what AMTC believes in and what it does. There is another site that discusses the AMTC auditions that has much useful information.

Some important things to keep in mind when you are considering attending AMTC are:

  1. Money. If you cannot afford to pay to go to AMTC, don’t go. Don’t spend money you need to live on in the hopes that your child or you will become a star. Try a different avenue to get into show business.
  2. Financial Aid. If money is tight, ask those who “invited” you to the audition or those in charge of AMTC about the possibility of a scholarship, sponsorship, or other financial aid in order to go to the event. There might not be any available for you, but it does not hurt to ask.
  3. Best Possible Outcomes. Understand what the best thing you can possibly get out of going to AMTC is, and then really think about whether or not that is what you want or what you expect! If talent agents, talent managers, and casting directors are really interested in your child, are you willing to move to where they are — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago? — Especially knowing that there are no guarantees on how much you will make or even on whether you will even ever get a single paying job in the entertainment industry?  Use this to help you make the decision of whether to go or not.
  4. Other Routes to Showbiz. Investigate other methods of becoming an actor before you pay the money for the convention. Look for a talent agent on your own in your own hometown or some place nearby. You can practice the craft of acting/modeling locally before trying to compete in L.A. or New York.  Working with an agent where you currently live might result in more small  jobs, and that work might just get you the break you eventually need to make it in showbiz. And face the facts. The competition is fierce in the bigger markets, so starting locally where the talent pool is smaller makes a lot of sense.
  5. Your Goals.  Analyze your goals, and if you really just want to be in the entertainment industry locally, an international talent competition may be a waste of your money. You can pursue local markets on your own without the help of such a huge talent competition. Face the facts. The competition for jobs is fierce in those bigger markets. You are better off working the smaller markets first even if your goals are to make it in L.A. or New York.
  6. Worst Possible Outcomes. Think about how you’ll feel if you leave the convention without winning a single award and without getting a single callback from one of the industry professionals. It does happen that way many times…  If you think you will be happy with the experience you gain and with the information that you get and that you will enjoy it regardless of the outcome, then good for you.

Do Your Research

If it is a different event than AMTC, it is important that you thoroughly do your research and make sure it is not a scam. While there are other conventions besides AMTC that are legitimate,  there are many scam operations that make promises that they cannot and do not keep. Do your research for AMTC as well to make an informed decision about whether you think it is something you want to and should do.

Other Less Expensive Ways to Get The Information You Need to Start a Career in Show Business

You can get into show business without attending a talent convention like AMTC, and it will be much less expensive. For a comprehensive DVD course on show business and acting, take a look at The Actor’s Journey for Kids and The Actor’s Journey (for adults). These two DVD sets contain essential information about starting a successful career in the entertainment industry from people who know very well how to go about this.

The Actor’s Journey is presented by over 100 industry professionals sharing their perspectives on the entertainment industry. The DVDs were created by Stanley Livingston, a producer and director in Hollywood today, best known for his role as ‘Chip’ on My Three Sons, a very successful sitcom of the 60s and early 70s.

To your success,

Debbie Sikkema

100 comments

1 ping

  1. brandon says:

    @nicole

    I hope I don’t sound rude, but if you look around their website they say that they are a christian based company, but are not for christians only. They are based on christian values, but you can still attend if you do not share the same beliefs.

    Best of luck!

  2. Melanie says:

    I just want to say thank you for posting such accurate and helpful information. It is great to hear about the experience from someone who actually participated in what AMTC offers. I found your information extremely helpful and honest. Thanks!!

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  5. Larissa says:

    AMTC NOT A SCAM! ;-)

    I went to AMTC in 09 when i graduated from high school i got picked up from through them by a school and moved to NY and graduated, ive also gotten auditions through them. My best friend also went and got a agent. Another friend went and he was a extra in a few big films, also the little girl who is in “we bought a zoo” and ” footloose”, she was at AMTC when i was and look at her now. The little boy in “Bad teacher” he and his mom were there and helped me check into AMTC when i was there … he got a agent and moved to georgia. there is also a girl that was my partner our first day at AMTC and she is now a super/runway model and travels everywhere! There was a guy a few years back i dont remember his name but i remember his face…he was at AMTC when i was and they sent him to American idol and he is now signed with someone from what ive been told… PEOPLE IF YOU DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT A PARTICULAR ORGANIZATION THEN ASK! :razz:

  6. Debbie Sikkema says:

    Hi Larissa,
    Thanks for commenting on AMTC. AMTC can result in many good things for certain people. It is very expensive, though, and that is why many do consider it a scam. For those who can afford it, it can be a good experience, and my daughter had a very good experience there. For those who pay and don’t get good results, though, it can be very disappointing and feel like a total waste of money. I’m glad you had a good experience there.
    Warm regards,
    Debbie

  7. Amanda says:

    Thank you SO much for this article – it does clear a lot of things up. I spent a year going back and forth in my head about whether to try out AMTC and I finally decided to audition for the heck of it when they were in my area a few weeks ago. I did get a callback and was initially very excited about it since honestly it was one of the few very good things to happen to me in the past 2 years or so.

    My parents did and still do have a lot of reservations about it, though, and some of that worry has started to rub off on me. I have called and asked several questions about the organization and the event, mostly about the financial aspect, and I was mostly satisfied with the answers. I’m confident enough that I can raise the money needed since I do have almost a year to do so, and I have already taken into account that the full cost of the trip will be more than the $5,000 that is just for the event itself. It does help to read such a detailed article about the AMTC experience from someone who went through it firsthand, and it has eased some of my worry. But as I am just in the process of registering, I am still worried about any legal obligations I will have, i.e. having to pay the $5,000 with no refund even if for some reason I am unable to make the event. The language in the AMTC disclaimer/contract confuses me a bit in that aspect, and I have been all over the website several times trying to find information. Is it possible to drop out of the AMTC program completely due to whatever unforseen circumstance without having to raise the $5,000, and what exactly do they refund/not refund you if something should happen? I found some of the refund regulations but I just want some kind of confirmation from someone who actually went through AMTC.

    Also, while I do find your article very reassuring, I am now having more doubts because of supposed former AMTC employees who are saying that it’s not worth the money and is a waste of time.

    And just one more thing – how exactly does the training work? I got called back for acting but even after talking to some representatives I’m still unsure as to what the online curriculum calls for and whether there are regular training sessions I have to attend in-person.

    I’m sorry if that’s a lot – but you seem to have the most reliable feedback available outside of the AMTC website itself.

  8. Susan says:

    If you want to know the truth about AMTC, it is not a “scam” in the sense of what the word means. They do produce an event that is attended by industry professionals, as they promise. I think “rip-off” is a better word. They charge an insane amount of money just to attend, not including travel, hotel and food. There are many other talent conventions similiar to this that can be attended for much less. And while some of the agents are good and legit, there are some who attend who really can’t do anything to help you or your child in your career. I think they’re there more for a vacation.

    In regards to getting a callback, it is true that most everyone will get one when you audition. Unless you are just downright horrible or they don’t think you can afford to go, they will issue a callback. AMTC makes their money off the registration fees, so they need a certain number to pay the bills and make their money. And obviously the more registrations they get, the more money they make. And while someone getting a callback may not be a bad actor, they also may not realistically be strong enough to actually make it in the industry. So, if knowing in your heart that a person really has no chance of doing anything and you still give them a callback, wouldn’t that be somewhat scam-like?

    And my biggest concern about AMTC is the use of religion. This was added a few years ago and really is more of a marketing ploy than anything else. The people who run this are far from anything Christ-like. This front they put on is fake.

    So please consider these things before attending. There are many cheaper alternatives out there or if you’re ready to move to LA/New York, then sumbit yourself for representation to these agencies directly.

  9. DJ Shock says:

    :roll: :|

    Well yeah, it really does cost a bomb, but maybe YOU may be the next success story, or may get information and networks that catapults you there. I’m sorry for those who feel ripped off, but perhaps one just has to look at it more like an investment?

    I would like more people who have attended, even succeeded (whether on their 1st try or later) to post and share their experiences… I never have and I’m taking in both sides of the argument and thinking about preparing to attend..?

  10. Debbie Sikkema says:

    Hi DJ,
    Thanks for your insightful perspective on this topic. What you say is true. It is indeed incredibly expensive, and you may pay for this and have absolutely nothing come of it in which case you most certainly will feel ripped off. On the other hand, if you are really hoping to get to L.A. or NYC and start a career and have the ability to move if people take an interest, then this can be the thing to launch your career. Unfortunately, even if you get to L.A. or NYC, there is no guarantee of any jobs, but it can give you the opportunity. It is a huge amount of money, and I always say why not try the old-fashioned way first (submit to agents, submit to jobs, get training and experience on your own, attend some workshops and seminars, and see if you get any opportunities on your own) before spending all the money for AMTC. You could save the money and then use it to live in L.A. or NYC for a few months (though best not to move to LA or NYC without some representation first). Then, if you don’t have much success that way, AMTC is still an option. You are smart to look at it from both sides and understand the costs as well as the opportunities AMTC can provide.

    Any more people with experiences at AMTC that they’d like to share? Please post here for people like DJ to read.
    Good luck to you, DJ, in whatever you decide. I hope it all works out great for you, and if I can help in any way, please let me know.
    To your success,
    Debbie

  11. Debbie Sikkema says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for putting your perspectives on this topic. We did attend before the religious perspective was added, so I can’t comment on that aspect of it. I did view it as a very wholesome family-oriented event when we were there. I certainly agree about trying to get representation the old-fashioned way — it takes some extra work, but it is certainly cheaper that way. –Debbie

  12. DJ Shock says:

    :shock:

    If you don’t mind me asking (everyone), for those who have been to AMTC, how DID you raise the money to go? Or do they have a link on the site as to how to get scholarships, raise money and attend AMTC?

  13. Karen says:

    I wouldn’t say that they are actually ‘scammers” but it bothers me that they use God’s name to sell their product. Here’s what happens. After you’ve decide that this is what you want to do, they will walk you through the contract, after collecting your “$500.00 registration fee”. Which only ½ of that is refundable, if you change your mind within 3 days. While signing their contract, they will explain everything to you. Here’s basically what they tell you in a nutshell. You give me $3,500.00 and we will teach, train and/or assist you in how to talk, walk, act, or whatever it is that you want to do and maybe you will get noticed by someone in the industry. Now keep in mind, we’re not promising or guaranteeing you anything. If you can afford to pay the $3,500.00 in one payment, great, but if not, we have an easy payment plan. It will take you a year to pay this off with 12 easy payments of approx. 267.00 a month and a 7% handling fee. And, in one year, you can attend our SHINE convention but while you’re paying for this trip to the convention, here’s what you get….2 FULL days of training, daily devotional emails and a newsletter….nothing more. And, at the big 6 day convention, you will get 2 tickets for the participant and a guest to attend the convention, 2 tickets for the Banquet and 2 tickets to the wrap party. And you must stay at the hotel where the activities are being held.

    Now, if you are bringing your child and both parents want to attend, then you get to pay an additional $200 (for the other parent) to attend the 6 day workshop at the convention or if you choose not to attend the workshops on a daily basis; then you can pay $50.00 a day for only those workshops that you would like to attend. You will also pay $65.00 for the banquet and $25.00 for the wrap party, for the extra parent. Did we mention that, in addition to paying for your trip to the convention (wherever it is), paying for your meals, paying for your hotel stay for 6 the entire 6 days, at the hotel of our choosing, if you get hurt or God forbid die at this convention and it’s completely our fault, no one can sue us because you signed a Release, releasing us for being negligent?

    Wow! I could go on and on but you all get the picture. Basically this is what they’re telling you. Now, you decide.

  14. DJ Shock says:

    :???: So, help me understand Karen, because it is generally a very expensive since you find yourself paying for a lot of things while you’re there and not just before you attend, that’s what makes using God’s name wrong? Or what do you think they should be doing so that it IS right for them to use God’s name? I’m just asking

  15. Karen says:

    Ok, DJ:

    They shouldn’t tell your child “I see the spirit of God in you and that’s what’s going to take you to the top” or it’s in God’s plan for you to make it because you have that positive attitude. The employees/owners of ATMC, have never laid eyes on these people but in approx. 45 mins, or less they are able to see the spirit of God in someone? Come on now, REALLY. In MY opinion, if it is in God’s name or God’s plan, you shouldn’t have to say it over and over and over again. Also, it makes me feel some sort of way that they changed their name to Actors, Models & Talent FOR CHRIST. Why add for Christ? It is that people tend to be more trusting if they’re told it’s a Christian based company?

  16. Karen says:

    and also, DJ, let’s not forget….since you can’t afford this, when we put you on our payment plan, God will make a way for you to make these payments even if you have to have a fund raiser.

  17. DJ Shock says:

    Ok, that’s something to think about. How about when I was asking “what do you think they should be doing so that it IS right for them to use God’s name?”

  18. Karen says:

    Nothing makes it right to use His name. So, just give your sales pitch and don’t bring His name into it, not unless you’re selling bibles.

  19. Ginger says:

    I have a question for Debbie. At the talent contest in Orlando, how many times does a person get to perform before the official judging takes place? I’m a singer, so would it be one song and I’m done or do I get to sing a certain number?

  20. Roslyn says:

    I just finished reading your blog article and all of the replies and I must say it gave me a lot to think about. I was actually on my way to a 10am audtion in New Jersey when something told me to do some more research before I go. I had actually found out about AMTC through to young women in an acting group that I am part of. I liked the headshots that one of them got from her involvement and was interested in the training. However, your blog gave me sooooooo much more information along with the intelligent replies that were submitted. I have ultimately decided NOT to go to the audition this morning but there were several factors that played into this for me personally:
    1- I have had exrtensive theatrical training as I attended and graduated from a performing arts HS, ran a theater club in college, and have done a couple of shows on and off.
    2- I already have extensive connections in the entertainment industry that I can lean on a little when I am ready.
    3- I live in NYC where I have access to many many many opportunites for exposure that will cost little to nothing.

    Don’t get me wrong….I LOVE what AMTC has to offer. If you are not in a major city such as Los Angeles ( where I am orig from) Chicago, NY, or Atlanta where production work is done on a regualr basis, then this is an opportunity to get your foot in the door. However, if you are in the above mentioned cities, pick up a copy of Backstage and start taking classes. When you sign up with a reputable acting class or coach, they often hold showcases or will have information about reputable showcases. Also, start networking with other actors and creating projects with them. Much of what we are seeing today entertainement wise are brain childs of artist who were struggling and created their own opportunities. If there is a college or university in your area, start submitting to their film department and get on to some student film projects. They always need actors and you never know. Spike Lee and John Singleton continuously use the actors he started out with in college who have now made name for themselves through his films. If you need headshots, also approach the photograqphy department or any photgraphy student anywhere. They need to practice and you can get some good shots that you can use. Sign up with Central Casting to become a background actor. In NYC they do new signups on Thursdays. You can network with other background actors and get a lot of information to help you move forward. Sign up for open mics and go to shows! You have to know what’s out there! Read plays! Many projects are based on plays and classic books. It’s important to be educated about the industry before jumping in. And know your character type. If people often tell you that you look like a certain actor or actress or that you remind them of a certain type of character then that is your character type. Research the actors that people peg you for and see what type of roles they get and work they do. THOSE CAN BE YOUR JOBS! Also look at where they have trained see if you can follow suit. Ok that’s all I wanted to say….thank you for this very informative blog :o )

  21. Phaye says:

    ;-) I can’t thank you all, for your insigtful reviews and comments. I was on my way to a 2pm audition, today, but decided, as did Roslyn to do more research, after speaking with a friend that’s in the industry. I was excited about the fact that it was an agency for Christians, but to the point of someone else, it doesn’t mean the staff are of the same persuasion, however, having Christ on the end, does make people believe that its Christian based, which could be viewed a deceptive, if thats not the case. There are many Christians working in the secular arena but it just means that they have standards that differ from the world. In anything, just count the cost. If you believe this is the arena for you, then do your due diligence to ensure you get what’s promised and don’t confuse that with what you expect. I’ve decided not to attend and I’ll continue to let my (gift) light so shine, that it will draw men until Him, where I am, until He sees fit to do something new in my life. Thanks for being open, honest and respectful in your responses. Blessings,

  22. Ginger says:

    I tried out and did not get a callback, so the answer is not everybody gets a callback. I sing karaoke on a daily basis, and many people (not just the karaoke scene) have told me I should do something with my singing. So it’s not like I’m somebody who thinks they can sing. I knew there were technical aspects to my singing that needed work, and this is what they called me on. They were very straightforward and many people found out right away if they were not going to be accepted. They were on the fence about me. They are very into the fact that acting and singing go hand in hand. I was told to work with a vocal coach and get some acting under my belt. I felt it was very beneficial to me because I learned things that I didn’t completely know before about my singing, and in having connections to the industry they know what is expected. I plan on auditioning again in a year from now.

    Prior to going I did some research online. I sent messages to 2 people that were in the shine event and whose videos are on youtube. Both were very helpful, the 1 actually won the contest at the shine. The girl who won is Gabbie Rae and it was because of her performance at the shine event that she was signed to an agent. She appeared on a video at the audition, it turns out that she has recently signed a major record deal and is working with the disney channel.

  23. Kristi Tressler says:

    AMTC is not a scam. It is an actual opportunity to put yourself in front of real agents, and casting directors. We just finished there in July. My daughter was picked up by a talent agency in NY and has recently auditioned for an upcoming feature film within a months time from the end of AMTC. It is exciting and scary at the same time. I have a friend, however, that didn’t get picked up but still enjoyed the experience. Hope this helps. Mother of a 12 year old daughter.

  24. Stephanie says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for all the helpful comments! My daughter and I both received a callback, and were going to register this coming weekend. The money was a huge issue for us! We just don’t have an extra 700 dollars every month! After reading, we’re gonna start here (the Dallas area) where we are first……… love this idea! It will save us lots of money, and you still get the experience to see if you’ve got what it takes. This came right at the time, just when I needed it, and was priceless information! Thank you so much!

  25. Debbie Sikkema says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am so glad all the information on my site helped you. You are welcome. While AMTC can have positive results, it is certainly a cost that should be considered. If you can get into acting without the expense, that is best. At some point, it may be something you’d consider doing, but that is only if other things don’t work out well for you. Good luck.
    Sincerely,
    Debbie

  26. Tammie Starr says:

    Hello Everyone, My Son Elijah and I Tammie Mother. We just got a callback just an hour ago. The Producer called with great news saying they were so excited of the great news Mother and Son team got official callbacks. That god had a purpose, for us. We did a fantastic job at the audition. Well the audience were there. I got a big applause that was a true blessing. and I wrote a song called. Holy Spirit Within Me., MY SON elijah is actor model and Elijah was praised how terrific he was. We were thanking God for this true calling. We just spoke to the Producer congratulating us can’t wait to work with us God is calling us in this feild. Then he ask come to the registration today and get things done to start with AMTC. I asked about the registration he told me did you pray on this like I asked you to. I told him yes we gave it to God on this decsion on everything. He gave us our gifts we want to glorify in him. Well He told us please call this number and talk to Beth. So I am asking what is the registration the 500.00 of both of us to pay. If you can’t pay that what happens? Producer is waiting for us to call ASAP to welcome us in the AMTC family. Blessings Tammie.

  27. Leroy Thomas, Ph.D. says:

    I never read about anything about an expensive cost to audition. Plus, I am convinced I never signed up for a personal appearance, but instead of getting “accepted” for a Dallas audition in person tomorrow, I believe I applied for a remote camera audition on next Saturday, March 2 — and I have already sent you a message earlier this morning, before dawn, stating exactly that message.

    At any rate, I do not believe I can afford to pay anything for any kind of interview at this time — I’ll apply later, whenever I know in advance what the cost will be.

    Leroy Thomas, Ph.D. — 903-328-5858

  28. MJ Brunette says:

    I went with my adult niece to the auditions here in MN last Saturday, April 13th. They PRETEND to be Christian-based. They advertised that their services are aimed towards people of ALL ages and so my niece, who’s 50, signed up, after hearing about this on KTIS, our local Christian radio. She has a BA in music and also has performed major roles in many plays, as well as writes her own Christian music. They PROMISE to either phone with results of acceptance or send a denial email. They didn’t do either. They LIE. Would Christ LIE? No! Therefore, they are NOT Christian-based; they are a SCAM to get kids into this, as the only people they obviously allow to attend their convention are kids up to, perhaps 30. They show this lengthy video of mainly children and young people performing on stage and NOT one single ADULT is included in their video, although they stated they cater to people of ALL ages: I believe they advertised child to 83, which pretty much states everyone who breathes. They obviously WANT MONEY, is their bottom line. They even had us pray and sing one Christmas song and another old Christian standard, making the people in attendance buy into this Christian-based lie they shared. They pray for the Devil to be cast out and all lies that are being spread about them won’t be compelling. The sad thing is they aren’t LIES being told, but truths. Jesus WAS TRUTH and since they did nothing but LIE to get people to buy into their farce, I feel anybody interested in attending should STAND CLEAR. DO NOT BUY THEIR LIES and deceitful tactics!! They WANT your money: PERIOD!!! I believe they showed THREE people who they supposedly helped into show business: one guy who went on to Grey’s Anatomy and another young boy who went on to be a main role in the Lion King on Broadway. Yet another young girl sings very well, but must never have gotten all that famous, as we never heard of her. They also displayed a photo of a young model, dressed very well and then showed photos of her, after they’d redressed her, giving her the “Gothic Look.” And they stated that whatever the person has learned at other agencies is worthless to them, and how they must forget all they’ve learn, as they know the “correct way,” with this: “Our way or the highway mentality.” DON’T WASTE your money, folks; they are a HUGE scam and truly not Christian-based. They expect the young candidate to pay $500 up- front and then come up with $3995, or close to that figure if they are “selected” for a call-back. It’s a JOKE and Christ would not be happy one bit that they are using such distasteful tactics in His name!

  29. SH Williams says:

    I want to weigh in regarding “high-pressure” tactics I had read about when I was researching AMTC. I auditioned and they invited me to continue (by paying the money), but I simply told them that I decided I didn’t want to pursue it, and they very politely told me they understood. There was no pressure at all, let alone high pressure.

  30. Dawn says:

    AMTC is now a 501c3 non-profit corporation (ministry).

  31. allan says:

    not a scam.if you look in their page you will see their prices ,you just need to be STUPID enough to fall for it ,worst of all is they use the name of God for their purpose of ripping off people .you will probably find them in http://www.rippmeoff.com.

  32. Pamela Wilson says:

    I just ran across this blog. I am up early thinking about my child and her first Launch session with AMTC this coming weekend. She was one that auditioned and was called back. We haven’t paid the whole fee as of yet and she is coming up on her first Launch session. She went to the audition, because she is interested in modeling. They told her that she had a better chance at SHINE if she did modeling, singing and acting. She has a beautiful voice, a beautiful face and has a lot to offer, but she absolutely does not want to act. What are the avenues for just getting into modeling? If a child is telling you that they don’t feel ready for a weekend Launch session, because they don’t want to act and they don’t feel they have had enough time to practice to the perfection needed for the songs that are required of them…… what would be your advice? Her Dad and I took her to the AMTC audition because she wanted too. We are being supportive, not trying to push her in this direction. I hate for her to give up an opportunity that we are able to provide for her, but I don’t want her to be stressed out about it either.
    Thanks for your input!

  33. Erika says:

    AMTC is a rip-off, not a scam.

    They charge a disgustingly large amount of money to put you on stage in front of professionals at a convention that they themselves create. There are plenty of other channels that do exactly the same at a much lower cost, especially without the false christian BS.

    Make no mistakes, AMTC is a money making business. If you’re an idiot, then hand over your money. I’m sure the owner (who is an insanely rich white woman) will be most pleased!

    Better yet, don’t… Save your hard earned money.

  34. Jon says:

    i was in modeling school ever since i was 5 years old in FLINT MI (of all places). then I went to AMTC 2003 in Kansas City Mo. (before it went churchy) as a teen model i was 15 or 16. i met Millie Lewis’ daughter, i had to apologize for an incident that occurred during the convention lol. but anyways. i did extremely well. i still have the plaques on my walls. i took 1st place in “cold reading” 2nd in “swimsuit”, 3rd in “monologue” finalist in “over all actor”, and was an honorable mention in ALL other categories. i had call backs from agencies from Japan, Miami, LA, London, even in Stockholm. i was also featured in “boy crazy” magazine from that event. I signed with WILHELMINA in NYC on the spot. and spent the next 3 years on and off (mostly on, dropped out of school as i was never in MI) living in NYC as a full time actor/ model……i can go on and on about how many parts that i was “second choice” or “back up” for, and it sucked being only 5′ 9″ and the minimum for runway male is 6′. i was going to 5-8 auditions a day 7 days a week. everything from top shelf movies, to being in the background in a commercial or music video. i was living the life. AND NEVER GOT A SINGLE ROLE. AMTC does look good on a resume and EXCELLENT in all the training classes and knowledge you can gain from the experts in the industry. but you can be fantastic on the stage at AMTC and get boo-ed off the camera for the rest of your career in the actual dog-eat-dog that is modeling/acting. so i quit, went back to school and graduated top of my class with a college preparatory degree. Im now a parent, and i would NEVER put my child into that world. im not going to say that “oh im scarred cause i was a child actor” but i did miss out very critical moments in my social development, as i was trying to build a career before i could tell what side of the bed smelled the worst lol. that aside. if your a parent and you happen to have a cute kid, dont spend the thousands of dollars just for the chance for your kid to smile at the right people. put it into their education, cause it is true what they say, one day your hot, the next day your not. i hope that this story helps.

  35. Tiffany says:

    I auditioned as an actress on February 15th and received a callback at 11:42AM 02/16/14. The representative for AMTC described how Carrie Lewis applauded my performance and how she believed it to be refreshing for Christ, and how she thought I was an articulate, cute, intellectual, and spunky individual. The representative continued with the following: “Which one of our available time slots are most convenient for you?” or something like that, and “Will you be making the $500 or $250 deposit today? We can always postpone registration for another time if you’re unable to make the payment at this time.” I told her I would call my father in charge of business ploys and call her back during the day. I never did. AMTC is a scam and a rip-off, in my opinion. I could attend acting classes in New York that will guarantee my being enlisted with a casting director as opposed to the $3895-$4995 event to meet all of those people in the face of adversity where I’m not guaranteed a job, had I stayed with AMTC. There are more economical routes for the middle-class and lower-middle-class, including those who don’t have a readily available $5,000 in their pocket. Discover what works best for you in these difficult times. God bless and don’t be fooled!

  36. Dawn says:

    Facts:

    AMTC is [now] a [501(c)(3)] nonprofit ministry dedicated to making good bolder in film, fashion, music and theater. Through a unique faith-based educational program, AMTC teaches performers how to become positive role models in the entertainment industry, then introduces them to top media executives through its international talent conference. AMTC follows The Great Commission of Jesus Christ by preparing actors, models, singers, dancers and comedians to ‘go into the world’ of arts and entertainment with love and excellence– as reflections of Christ and His truth.

    Here are just a very few people who have succeeded with the help of AMTC:

    Chris Young – country singer
    tWitch – dancer
    Austen Williams – Mrs America 2014
    Ben Davies – Courageous
    TC Stallings – Courageous
    Abbie Cobb – actress in numerous movies/tv
    Tim Urban – American Idol
    Dustin Tavella – Rose Bowl theme song
    Sonia Dara, CariDee – models
    Corey Sligh – model/actor
    Maggie Jones – We Bought a Zoo
    Julian Silva – Les Miserables

    The list is long. I’ll stop there.
    The amtcworld.com website is comprehensive. You can collect information there and easily verify.

    My opinion:
    I believe it to be unlikely that someone who has simply auditioned and did not elect to go through and experience the entire program to speak about its benefits or opportunities.

    I found a callback from AMTC for someone close to me to be the chance of a lifetime and entirely worth the ‘leap of faith’ it took several years ago to sign up.

  37. Mandy says:

    @Dawn

    If your friend took the chance of a lifetime, what’s his or her name so we can Google them now and see how they’re doing?

  38. Dawn says:

    Demi Craven – she’ll come up quickly in google
    Her public facebook page is
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Demi-Craven/161162343936959
    I’m sure she’d be grateful if you gave her page a ‘like’ and followed her adventures.

    I am also friends with Mrs America 2014, Austen Williams, whose platform is an end to trafficking/slavery. She has a public page as well.

    I am also acquainted with, have met, or have met family members of many of the folks I listed above and others if you would like me to keep listing them.

  39. Dawn says:

    My previous comment is ‘awaiting moderation’… perhaps because I put a link in it so I am posting again. Sorry for any duplication.

    Demi Craven (you can google her and she has a public facebook page). It would be great if you would ‘like’ it and you can see her adventures.

    I am also friends with the current Mrs America 2014, Austen Williams who also has a public facebook page.

    Of the many others I listed, I have either met them, or their family members or we have mutual friends. I left out Grace St John too who is doing very well as a model in NYC.

  40. Mandy says:

    @Dawn

    The chances of being discovered through AMTC is slim-to-none.
    Their only success story who made it big in Hollywood is Megan Fox.

    Everyone else you mentioned are people I’ve never heard of.

  41. Dawn says:

    Please Google them.

    Just because you have not heard of someone does not mean they are not successful. I don’t follow the Olympics and, at the moment, I can’t think of the name of one medal winner for this season. The fact that I have never heard of them does not mean they are not successful or in any way diminish their accomplishments or connotate that the Olympics is not a legitimate opportunity. Likewise, AMTC is a legitimate opportunity.

  42. Brett Reese says:

    My daughter attended Shine winter of 2014 and received 14 callbacks.

    Fourteen! Including one from Duane, the senior scout from Trump modeling in New York, who told us the flash interviews are murder for him to sit through. He also said he only callsback 8 at each Shine. There were about 1,000 contestants with us. My daughter was 15 then, just turned 16. She is truly beautiful and over 5’8″. After AMTC now what 2 months or so? ZERO return phone calls. After all the attention (not many get 14 or more callbacks) she has had no agents or agencies contact her since AMTC. Do you think your kid will get 14 callbacks? Save your money. Millie and her employees are wonderful and I like them to a person, but ….Fat Chance. (pardon the pun) LOL. No sour grapes, just care about others spending money, since another friend we met at AMTC also had a daughter who feels the same way. Great experience, yes, and we may even have done it again, but unless you have the disposable resources, you shoudn’t.

    I think the bottom line is AMTC is not a scam. Just the Lotto. Truly, very nearly the same odds, but with a few thousand dollars to play. Best of luck getting even a couple of callbacks. And if you do, I believe they are “mercy” callbacks. Flash Interviews?…. forget it. Absolutely NOT. As to the original “auditions” –everybody gets in.

  43. Mandy says:

    @Dawn

    I did Google them.
    None of them are A-listers, which is ironic because the goal of AMTC is to showcase your talent to the world so that you may gain as much publicity as possible.

  44. Crystal says:

    I can’t help but question the true motives of AMTC. I attended an audition. I was captivated by the prayer and praise and worship. I was even more captivated by the presentation that promoted Jesus in such a way, that gave Him the glory He truly deserves. I auditioned and was so excited at the proposition of working for my King doing something that I love. I indeed received a call back, but my husband and I became real skeptical when we realized how much this program was going cost vs the products received. I have learned how to place my complete trust in God and the leading of the Holy Spirit and how to discern what is of God and was is not. I prayed and sought God earnestly about this opportunity. And like with everything that life brings our way, I was instructed to compare this situation to what the Word of God says. Is the concept of the “Shine” convention an awesome one…absolutely! The motive of the program founders is what troubled me. If it was truly believed by the company owners that having more Christians in media is what they are called to do, then they are going about it all wrong! The heart of God is always one of charity, ‘…It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). So asking God’s people to sow so much money into something that has the potential to yield such little return, is totally against the way our Father asks us live! I can’t believe that He would back a company that solicits funds in this manner. Although I agree totally that Jesus needs more place in media, I don’t believe this company is the one that He is going to use to do that!!!! I urge you to seek God yourself on this matter and read 1 John 4:1… Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God,.. Sincerely— A most humble servant of the Most High!!

  45. Sarah says:

    It confuses me how everyone is saying they callback everyone. My friend auditioned for them and the first thing they didn’t like was that she has never had any voice or acting lessons. They went on to say she has a lot to work on with her voice. My friend is a fantastic singer and nobody who doesn’t see her talent is nuts. She went due to so many positive remarks from people, and I doubt she would have just decided on her own. She did begin taking singing lessons, and her vocal coach told her early on that he has no clue what they were talking about. We are all left confused, and considering all the comments I’m seeing on here about callbacks I will forever be confused.

  46. Dawn says:

    @Mandy
    AMTC’s vision(goal) is clearly stated on their website and does not involve training/creating ‘A-listers’. (Several A-listers come to mind who really need to hear the gospel.) The people that I listed are making a significant positive impact for Christ with their gifts. If even one soul is won (or a soul is not lost) due to their efforts, that is success.

    @Crystal
    Based on your post, your heart is clearly in the right place. Your individual decision not to go forward with AMTC may have been right for you. However, please consider carefully your judgment of a ministry with whom you have spent time only long enough to audition.
    The value of going through AMTC is inestimable. A ‘for profit’ company providing the same training/opportunity would have to (& does) charge a great deal more.
    I refer you to my posts above (on 18 Feb) where I list folks who I have a connection with and/or know personally who went through the entire experience, beyond audition. (I tried to post links, but this blog does not allow that)

  47. Hilary says:

    Hi Debbie,

    Thank you so much for writing all this out for AMTC interesteds! We appreciate it! Congrats to your daughter, that is so great – would love to see a youtube video of her! :)

    My question for you is this: if a talent agent IS interested in you do you HAVE to move to their area? Or can they manage you from afar?

    Thanks!

  48. j.allen herndon says:

    Thanks for the insights. I recently attended a try out in colorado, and was impressed for the most part with t he message of AMTC, why they do what they do etc. I agreed 100% that christians with talent probably should use it for Christ. Interestingly, I have been pretty accomplished vocally for a good many years, and was pleased to see an opportunity to do something besides sing in the shower. The tryout went well and the young actor who listened to me said it was great. OK!, but strangely no call back. OK I am too old, and not good enough for the road show! I am cool with that, but I was not sure why I didn’t get an email to say NO. I didn’t hear anything, although an email expressing ones failure to impress anyone was promised. I will continue to do my thing with Jesus, and ask Him some day if He thinks I am not good enough too, or it was just the AMTC judge who was not impressed. I do not think AMTC is a money sucking gig, or they would call everyone back to sell the big show for big bucks. I do wonder if the criterion they use is purely GOD, or if there is a very carnal element. Who knows? Anyway I am disappointed I think, but I am at peace either way, just not sure why you would beg folks to come out, and then just disregard them entirely and rather rudely suggest that they are unacceptable. I would rather the real agents and scouts etc. make that decision. just my .02. Shalom

  49. Executive Producer of My Teen Movie Project says:

    I want to let everyone know, you can get an agent without paying a penny. There are many great agencies out there that hold casting calls about every two months, and they do not charge a penny. AMTC is a rippoff, and I do consider them a scam since they mostly offer what you can get on your own for free. You can find out about auditions on your own or through any of the legitimate agencies. I see teenager after teenager who tell me they paid between $3000 and $8000 to these scam artists. Here is Colorado, we have many great agencies, and they only earn money if you earn money. Some of them are Big Fish, Maximum, Peak Talent, Donna Baldwin, Marbles, Radical, W Talent, and LA Connect. I hope this posting saves at least one person from getting scammed out of their money for something that should and is free. The only thing anyone should every have to pay is for professional headshots, that is it. When any agency asks you for money, RUN!

  50. N. Ross says:

    This is just another John Powers type thing….for the VERY beginner only. As far as Christian based…hum…well, Christian films are usually non union and don’t pay much if any…music is just as much a gamble. I am a working actor and basically you would be better off taking acting classes around town and doing community theater to develop your skills. Look up the comments on John Powers…this is the same thing and someone thought it would look different with a “christian twist.”

  1. Is AMTC a Scam? - qile says:

    [...] Here is the original post:  Is AMTC a Scam? [...]

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